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7.68.350  <<  7.68.360 >>   7.68.801

RCW 7.68.360

Human trafficking — Coordinated state agency protocols.

(1) By July 1, 2005, the director of the *department of community, trade, and economic development, or the director's designee, shall within existing resources convene and chair a work group to develop written protocols for delivery of services to victims of trafficking of humans. The director shall invite appropriate federal agencies to consult with the work group for the purpose of developing protocols that, to the extent possible, are in concert with federal statutes, regulations, and policies. In addition to the director of the *department of community, trade, and economic development, the following shall be members of the work group: The secretary of the department of health, the secretary of the department of social and health services, the attorney general, the director of the department of labor and industries, the commissioner of the employment security department, a representative of the Washington association of prosecuting attorneys, the chief of the Washington state patrol, two members selected by the Washington association of sheriffs and police chiefs, and five members, selected by the director of the *department of community, trade, and economic development from a list submitted by public and private sector organizations that provide assistance to persons who are victims of trafficking. The attorney general, the chief of the Washington state patrol, and the secretaries or directors may designate a person to serve in their place.

     Members of the work group shall serve without compensation.

     (2) The protocols must meet all of the following minimum standards:

     (a) The protocols must apply to the following state agencies: The *department of community, trade, and economic development, the department of health, the department of social and health services, the attorney general's office, the Washington state patrol, the department of labor and industries, and the employment security department;

     (b) The protocols must provide policies and procedures for interagency coordinated operations and cooperation with government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, agencies, and jurisdictions, including law enforcement agencies and prosecuting attorneys;

     (c) The protocols must include the establishment of a database electronically available to all affected agencies which contains the name, address, and telephone numbers of agencies that provide services to victims of human trafficking; and

     (d) The protocols must provide guidelines for providing for the social service needs of victims of trafficking of humans, including housing, health care, and employment.

     (3) By January 1, 2006, the work group shall finalize the written protocols and submit them with a report to the legislature and the governor.

     (4) The protocols shall be reviewed on a biennial basis by the work group to determine whether revisions are appropriate. The director of the *department of community, trade, and economic development, or the director's designee, shall within existing resources reconvene and chair the work group for this purpose.

[2005 c 358 § 2.]

Notes:

     *Reviser's note: The "department of community, trade, and economic development" was renamed the "department of commerce" by 2009 c 565.

     Intent -- Finding--2005 c 358: "The legislature recognizes that human trafficking is growing to epidemic proportions and that our state is impacted. Human trafficking is one of the greatest threats to human dignity. It is the commodification of human beings and an assault on human values. Washington is, and must continue to be, a national leader at the state level in the fight against human trafficking.

     The legislature recognizes there are many state agencies and private organizations that might be called on to provide services to victims of trafficking of humans. Victims of human trafficking are often in need of services such as emergency medical attention, food and shelter, vocational and English language training, mental health counseling, and legal support. The state intends to improve the response of state, local, and private entities to incidents of trafficking of humans. Victims would be better served if there is an established, coordinated system of identifying the needs of trafficking victims, protocols for training of service delivery agencies and staff, timely and appropriate delivery of services, and better investigations and prosecutions of trafficking.

     Leadership in providing services to victims of trafficking of humans also extends beyond government efforts and is grounded in the work of highly dedicated individuals and community-based groups. Without these efforts the struggle against human trafficking will be very difficult to win. The legislature, therefore, finds that such efforts merit regular public recognition and appreciation. Such recognition and appreciation will encourage the efforts of all persons to end human trafficking, and provide the public with information and education about the necessity of its involvement in this struggle." [2005 c 358 § 1.]

     Effective date -- 2005 c 358: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [May 10, 2005]." [2005 c 358 § 3.]